Two items on a progressive wish list can be checked off. The first one was a promise to President Obama: Israel is now out of Gaza. The second was a commitment from Obama: the administration has filed a legal motion halting military commissions at Guantanamo Bay for 120 days. That’s a first step to shutting the commissions down as new defense and legal officials conduct their promised review. And it’s also a step to shutting Guantanamo down, an oft-repeated promise of Obama’s.
Oh, and one really strong signal that the detentions/interrogations regime designed by the Bush administration is coming to an end: Marty Lederman, a relentless critic of the Bush administration’s legal contentions about the war on terrorism (and a blogger at Balkinization), will become deputy assistant attorney general at the Office of Legal Counsel. That’s John Yoo’s old job.